Study Shows Cloud Computing Catching On With Big Business

Enterprise businesses have quietly taken to cloud computing in big numbers, according to a recent study conducted by researcher Kelton Research for IT consulting specialist Avanade Inc.


The study's findings, gleaned from surveys with 502 top executives, business leaders and IT decision-makers across 17 countries, showed a 320 percent increase in the past nine months among enterprise level businesses either to test or employ cloud computing applications.


Promos from the industry's top players hasn't hurt the cause. Google chief Eric Schmidt recently told a gathering of 900 executives at an event sponsored by the Utah Technology Council that the dawn of cloud computing carries more weight than the arrival of personal computing.


In examining the study's findings, Kelton concluded that the recession hasn't made much of a difference to adopters of cloud computing. More than half of the respondents said the economic downturn didn't matter at all, and a few even said it helped.


The results also indicated that the rate of adoption for cloud computing in the U.S. is double what's occurring elsewhere.

Despite the move by big businesses into the cloud, there's little support for relying exclusively on it. Only five percent of the participants said they use cloud-based applications exclusively.


Survey results also pointed to a groundswell of support for SaaS. Two-thirds of U.S. respondents are currently using SaaS applications. Most of them have been using SaaS for less than a year.


The study's sponsor, Avanade Inc., is an IT consulting specialist founded nine years ago as a joint venture between Microsoft Corp. and Accenture, an outsourcing firm. In addition to Microsoft, Avanade's IT client list includes McAfee, Logitech, Samsung as well as behemoths Pfizer, NBC and Bank of America.

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